When it comes to catering an event, there are several things that you need to think about to ensure that everything runs smoothly. As experts in the catering and hospitality industry, we have put together a list of the top 10 things to consider when catering your event.
1. Guest count: Make sure that you have an accurate estimate of how many guests will be attending your event. This will help you to determine how much food you need to order. It's a common misconception that we purposely 'over cater'. This is simply not true - food wastage and over catering is just throwing income straight down the toilet - no small business can keep that up! We cater only to what we are told to ensure each guest is fed - so always be accurate with your guest count.
2. Vendors - most of the vendors you have hired e.g. photographer, Dj, Band have food written into their contract! You must include these vendors into your guest count if you plan on feeding them as well.
3. Dietary restrictions: Be sure to ask your guests if they have any dietary restrictions or allergies. This will allow you to cater to their needs and ensure that everyone is able to enjoy the food. We are often catering offsite and away from our kitchen - so dietary requirements are extremely difficult to cater for if we don't know in advance.
4. Menu selection: Choose a menu that suits the theme of your event and the preferences of your guests. If you are having a Mediterranean themed wedding or a Harry Potter themed birthday - let us know! Chances are we have a recipe book full of great ideas for Dumbledore's Butter Beer and Hagrid's Pumpkin Pasties! It' s also important to have a variety of options available to accommodate different tastes and dietary needs.
5. Presentation: The presentation of your food is just as important as the taste. Make sure that your food is displayed in an appealing way that will entice your guests. Consider hiring furniture (for a buffet) or flowers arrangements for the food stations that suit your styling.
6. Service style: Consider the style of service that you want for your event. Will it be a buffet, plated dinner, or family-style? This will impact the way that your food is prepared and presented In addition, if you are having full seating for your guests, try to steer clear of canapes - it's difficult to serve them when everyone is sitting in a large room, and this style of seating entices guests to believe they are receiving a different type of meal (we've actually had guests say no to canapes because they thought there was a plated meal coming due to the style of seating & set up!). If you are looking for a seated setting with a casual vibe, consider a canape station, MYO Burger Bar or Feasting style dishes to the table.
7. Venue: Take into account the venue where your event will be held. Make sure that there is adequate facilities to cook your food - or at the very least, a place with power and enough lighting. Whilst we we can cook out of anywhere, even we aren't afraid to say that the food suffers when you don't have kitchen facilities available - whether it's the speed of service or the temperature of the food when served, enclosed kitchen facilities do make a big difference. If you're venue doesn't have kitchen facilities, consider a Buffet, MYO Food Bars or Feasting/Family style plates.
8.Timing: Plan the timing of your event carefully. Make sure that the food is served at the appropriate time and that there is enough time for your guests to enjoy their meal.
9. Cake Cutting: Make sure to organise someone to cut and serve your cake! We offer this service for an additional cost. Try to consider the time you are going to cut the cake - we often recommend straight after your bridal entrance or arrival to the event. This way, speeches can't delay the time of the cake cutting and we are given ample time to cut and serve the cake to your guests.
10. Type of Guests: When catering for a crowd, consider the types of eaters your guests will be. For example, catering for a football team or a senior sewing club are going to be very different kinds of eaters and consume very different amounts. In addition, don't fall into the trap of 'my friends don't eat when they are drinking' and purposely cater less than you normally would. Only once has this theory been proven correct in our entire experience of catering functions, and that particular couple told us in advance to bring takeaway containers so that we were prepared (thankyou Ashley & Tom!).
By considering these 10 things when catering your event, you can help to ensure that your guests are satisfied and that your event is a success. Trust A Days Graze to help you with all of your catering needs.